I don’t know too much about logo design, since I focus most of my time with magazine design and web design, although I will try to list some things I’ve learned.

Effective Logos…

  • …are distinctive
  • …are visible
  • …are usable
  • …are memorable
  • …are universal
  • …are durable
  • …are timeless
  • …do not sell, only identifies.
  • …derives its meaning from the quality of what it symbolizes

Here are a two of my more successful logos. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on branding/logo design. Leave me a comment!


  1. Posted July 30, 2008 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if I entirely agree that a successful logo should be timeless. Think of the old(er) companies that have changed their logos through history–like Apple, Microsoft (shudder). This is actually a good site for that (http://www.neatorama.com/2008/02/07/the-evolution-of-tech-companies-logos/). I think the most important thing is that they are universal and versatile. I also think that it’s important that they work in black and white and in color. But that’s just my 2 cents.

    But I like your logos, Stephen!

  2. Posted July 31, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I pulled some of this from an old graphic design book. I found notes that I taken about what I had read. I think it’s good to update logos when they feel out of date or old, but I think the goal is to create something that doesn’t have to be redesigned in 5 yrs. I guess, to me, a logo is timeless if it doesn’t use a photoshop effect or current trend in it. I admit, I did use a “photoshop effect” in the Imagine logo, but the shelf-life of that logo is only a year, since it’s a fundraising campaign. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Jess!

  3. Posted July 31, 2008 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I agree with your explanation – the ‘timeless’ doesn’t mean permanent. Timeless means someone shouldn’t be able to look at a logo, and tell you what year it was made.

    I think the biggest trend right now is all of the web 2.0 glassy effects and reflections. It looks nice, but logos should probably stay away from if if they don’t want to be dated.

    Sauer Danfoss is a company with a clearly dated logo. http://www.fperc.org/FPERCweb/Company%20Logos/Sauer-Danfoss-Logo.gif

  4. Posted July 31, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Tony!, I like the icon in that logo, but think the type could be different. It feels very 80’s or 90’s. Do you know when it was designed? I never bought into the Web 2.0 look. I like looking at it, but feel that I’m cheating myself if I make my work look like it.

    Have you heard the term Magazine 2.0 around this place? How clever, right?

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